I always have this grand idea that I will eat better, get back in the gym and do my darndest to get healthier with each New Year. Sometimes I can keep it going for a few months, but most of the time failure endures and I wait months again to press the restart button and try again in the newest year. Most of it just comes down to time and motivation, and for once I feel as if I have both. No more getting up at two a.m. to feed a baby, no more being up five a.m. when a two-year-old wakes up, so that I’m exhausted all day. For the first time in three years I’m in the gym and eating much better, thanks to the frozen food aisle.
While my refrigerator was packed every week, I was so busy that it sometimes became hard to remember what I had. We’ve always done a good job of stocking up our freezer, but now it’s even more important. Whether it’s vegetables, chicken or fruit, we are taking full advantage of our freezer. After all, everything is picked in its peak season of freshness and then frozen so you can always eat in season, even when it’s not. In addition, this helps us reduce any spoilage because when fresh chicken or other items go bad we have to toss them a lot sooner than frozen foods. When you buy pre-cooked chicken or other foods from the freezer aisle you can take out the amount you need when you need it, and then put the rest of the bag back in the freezer for another time. It’s a win-win!
When layering up this Black Bean Tamale, Chicken and Cheese Casserole I started by spreading a thin layer of refried beans and then packing it in with a dozen Texas Tamale Company’s black bean tamales. Just wrap them up in a damp paper towel and microwave for 3 minutes, remove from the husks and place on the beans. I know I used two different kind of beans, but I can’t help it I love both and so does my daughter! Texas Tamale also make some delicious chicken and beef tamales that are to die for and ridiculously easy to cook. From there I topped it off with the shredded chicken and some Kraft® Mexican Four Cheese Blend which really put this casserole over the top with flavor. I have a little extra cheese, so I plan on using it in my taco night coming up, along with the shredded chicken.
Bake this goodness in the oven for 30 minutes at 375° and because we love toppings in this family, I loaded it up with Daisy® Sour Cream, sliced green onions, fresh cilantro and avocado. If you want a great tasting meal to help kick-start those getting healthy habits as well as keeping things convenient from the frozen food aisle, then this Black Bean Tamale, Chicken and Cheese Casserole is the perfect start!
When I made this Black Bean Tamale, Chicken and Cheese Casserole I was looking to create something a little different while making sure I used ingredients I know my family loves. It was incredibly easy to make and there are a few leftover ingredients that are perfect for another meal. For instance, the Tyson® frozen chicken that is slow cooked in salsa and then pulled apart will render a bit more than the casserole calls for, so you can save it for a family taco night within the next few days.
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Black Bean Tamale, Chicken and Cheese Casserole
- 6 Tyson® frozen chicken breasts
- 4 cups of your favorite salsa
- 1 cup of refried pinto beans
- 12 frozen and heated Texas Tamale Company® black bean tamales
- 2 cups of Kraft® Mexican Four Cheese Blend
- Daisy® Sour Cream for garnish
- Sliced green onions for garnish
- Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- Sliced avocado for garnish
- For the shredded chicken: Place the Tyson® frozen chicken breasts and salsa in a slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours. Pull the chicken apart using two forks and keep warm.
- For the casserole: Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Spread the refried beans evenly on the bottom of a medium size casserole dish. Then place the heated tamales, husks removed, on top of the beans and cover with 2 cups of shredded chicken and 2 cups cheese.
- Bake the casserole in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
- Garnish with Daisy® sour cream, sliced green onions, cilantro leaves, and avocado slices.